Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Has the Tea Party Vanished?

Has the Tea Party Vanished?
Al Ritter 

The scene in 2014 was a revolt in a way, it pitted the establishment GOP against the “people.” Those people had enough of the good old boys’ network and set a course to elect candidates who promised to change the way things were done in DC. 

Although it never really gained a full momentum the results held the House and retook the Senate. Some candidates have actually done what they were elected to do under the umbrella of the Tea Party, others not so much. 

We call those who didn’t actually follow the direction of the Tea Party push, RINOs (Republican in Name Only.)  

The Republican side has plenty of mainstream candidates, ones who borderline on the RINO idea, but as we are finding out, not everyone identifies with the Tea Party. They are the moderates or independent voters who see the political landscape as being right center. Most are happy with big government and just want to see everyone get along.

These same voters like to claim they are tired of the way government works, but they vote the other way. 

Although there are a few candidates who were the darlings of the Tea Party in 2014, one defected from a stance of no amnesty to working in the “Gang of Eight” and supporting amnesty along with his democratic counterparts in the Senate. Another Tea Party favorite has slowly moved away from the Republican and Tea Party values by taking a decidedly libertarian stance and now has faded into the same obscurity suffered by his father’s cultish following. 

We have two political outsiders, one of which is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon. This man is a gentle soft spoken person, he has lots of good ideas, but his stances and specifics are often muddled to the point of not really knowing which side of an issue he rests. 

The other outsider is a loud brash bombastic businessman, who uses profanity and vulgar insults at his campaign stops much to the glee of his rather strange group of followers. He rarely speaks in specifics of how to fix America’s woes, instead claiming he will “hire the best people” and “you will really be happy!” His insults and falsehoods rarely seem to be aimed at the Democratic candidates, but rather at his fellow Republican Candidates. 

Only one candidate was elected as a Tea Party favorite and has done what he promised to do. He has defended the Constitution not only in the Senate but also in the Supreme Court as Solicitor General of his home state. He has adhered to the Republican values even when the leaders of his party seem to have abandoned them.  

Has the Tea Party just become a footnote in history and along with it the values we fought so hard for in 2014? Or do principles, values, and honesty still matter to the voters who have chosen the Republican Party?

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